Blogroll

When I'm not here, you may find me wandering the pages below. (If I'm a regular visitor to your site and I've left your link off or mislinked to you, please let me know! And likewise, if you've blogrolled me, please check that my link is updated: thisroamanticlife.blogspot.com. The extra (a) makes all the difference!)

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For posts sorted by date or label, see the links below.

For posts on frequently referenced topics, click the buttons to the right.

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Body: in sickness and in health

I won't lie; this body and I have had our issues with each other for many years. Body image -- sure. Physical and mental overextension -- comes with being a Type A kind of girl. I still struggle with these things, so they show up from time to time in my writing.

More recently, illness, pure but not simple, has added itself to the mix in a multi-system sort of way. And the challenges in figuring out exactly what's gone wrong are many. As problems have revealed themselves in the last few years, beginning with reactive hypoglycemia in late 2008, I've documented them here, partly to gain a little clarity on managing complex conditions but mostly to give voice to vulnerabilities I feel but don't normally share with anyone face to face. Better out than in, they say, right? (Oh yes, humor is one way I deal.)

The links below cover the different angles I've examined (and from which I've been examined) within that experience.

Travel: neither here nor there

When the person you're married to lives two time zones away, you log a fair number of frequent flier miles. And if you blog about commuter relationships, you log quite a few posts en route too.

Since we're no longer in separate places, I blog less often from airports. But we do travel -- together now! -- which is much more fun to write about. So in addition to thoughts on our years of commuting, the links below cover the places we've been as a pair and, in some cases, the adventures that have happened on the way.

Writing: the long and short of it

Why do I do it? Good question. Maybe it's not so much that I like to write but that I have to write, even when the words refuse to stick to the page. Believe me, I've tried doing other things like majoring in biochemistry (freshman fall, many semesters ago). Within a year, I'd switched to English with a concentration in creative writing and wasn't looking back.

After graduating, I taught English for a few years and then worked as an editor, which I still do freelance. In 2007, I applied and got into an MFA program at a place I like to call Little U. on the Prairie. I finished my degree in 2011 and have been balancing tutoring and writing on my own ever since.

The following links cover the writing I've done about writing: process, content, obstacles, you name it. It's not always pretty. But some part of me loves it, even when it's hard. And this is the result.

Heart: family and friends

I'd have a hard time explaining who I am without being able to talk about the family I grew up in as well as the people I've met beyond its bounds. But even with such context, it's not easy! In the simplest terms, I'm a first-generation Asian-American who has spent most of this life caught between cultures. That, of course, doesn't even begin to describe what I mean to, but there's my first stab at the heart of it all.

That's what this group of posts is reserved for -- heart. The essential parts of my life whose influences I carry with me, for better or worse. The links below cover what I've written as I've learned how these forces work within me, for me, against me, in spite of me. They anchor me even as they change me, and they keep life interesting.

Recommended reading

What do I do when there's too much on my mind and my words won't stick to the page? I escape into someone else's thoughts. Below is a collection of books and articles that have been sources of information, inspiration, and occasional insight for my own work.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Things that are hard to believe

So about time slowing to a crawl -- it sped back up again on Friday and continued to move at Mach 2 until I finally finished teaching today. Holy SMOOK, as my mother would say (rhymes with book because she has a slight accent, which is really cute). When we were driving my car to Little U. on the Prairie a little over a year and a half ago, we got passed by a semi, which startled her and elicited said phrase.

My students are done with their first papers, after much last-minute consultation. I was a wee bit cranky after office hours yesterday because I had students sending me drafts to look at, less than 24 hours before the final versions were due (I sent them back, telling their owners that it would be impossible for me to provide reasonable feedback in time for them to revise). I also had students dropping in asking me to tell them if their work was "good enough yet." I make no grade wagers, people! One student, after I began reviewing his draft with him and making suggestions, even had the nerve to ask me to write down what I was saying. I was so incensed that I didn't respond -- nothing good would have come out of my mouth at that point -- and merely underlined a word or two as a reminder of what we'd focused on (also to keep me from launching into a diatribe on Kids These Days and Their Issues of Entitlement). I'm still reeling from my disbelief. I'm not that much older than they are -- how is it that I (and my peers of similar age) inherently understood when we were undergrads that this is a completely inappropriate request?

Okay, enough of that; I hate saying things that put my students in a poor light, but this one was just too much.

I turned in my own essay on Wednesday (cannot believe I got it done in the midst of all the paper craziness). So now I can finally think about packing! And indeed there's quite a bit -- D and I have more or less decided that I'll do most of the boxing for the move in May as it will save us a lot of money. I'd like to transport what I can in the next few visits so there's less to deal with in the middle of finals week. Clothing seems like a good idea. Also all the foods I can't eat but don't want to waste. We have friends coming to visit from Idaho during part of my spring break who will love the Honey Bunches of Oats and cinnamon streusel Frosted Mini-Wheats I've stashed away.

I'll leave you with this series of photos from a tulip plant a friend of mine brought me when I had her over for brunch last weekend. I took these over the last four days as they bloomed just to mark the progress of something else besides my essay. Here's to a quick end to winter!

























2 comments:

French Fancy said...

I couldn't see any photos but then Blogger has been a bit crazy of late.

I want to shake some of your students - they just don't know how lucky they are having a face to face tutorial on a one-to-one basis.I wish I were one of them.

Happy Boxing.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Believe me, I wanted to shake that particularly cheeky student too. Sigh. It only takes a few like that to make you forget how much the others appreciate the help. I try to keep those others at the front of my thoughts.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Things that are hard to believe

So about time slowing to a crawl -- it sped back up again on Friday and continued to move at Mach 2 until I finally finished teaching today. Holy SMOOK, as my mother would say (rhymes with book because she has a slight accent, which is really cute). When we were driving my car to Little U. on the Prairie a little over a year and a half ago, we got passed by a semi, which startled her and elicited said phrase.

My students are done with their first papers, after much last-minute consultation. I was a wee bit cranky after office hours yesterday because I had students sending me drafts to look at, less than 24 hours before the final versions were due (I sent them back, telling their owners that it would be impossible for me to provide reasonable feedback in time for them to revise). I also had students dropping in asking me to tell them if their work was "good enough yet." I make no grade wagers, people! One student, after I began reviewing his draft with him and making suggestions, even had the nerve to ask me to write down what I was saying. I was so incensed that I didn't respond -- nothing good would have come out of my mouth at that point -- and merely underlined a word or two as a reminder of what we'd focused on (also to keep me from launching into a diatribe on Kids These Days and Their Issues of Entitlement). I'm still reeling from my disbelief. I'm not that much older than they are -- how is it that I (and my peers of similar age) inherently understood when we were undergrads that this is a completely inappropriate request?

Okay, enough of that; I hate saying things that put my students in a poor light, but this one was just too much.

I turned in my own essay on Wednesday (cannot believe I got it done in the midst of all the paper craziness). So now I can finally think about packing! And indeed there's quite a bit -- D and I have more or less decided that I'll do most of the boxing for the move in May as it will save us a lot of money. I'd like to transport what I can in the next few visits so there's less to deal with in the middle of finals week. Clothing seems like a good idea. Also all the foods I can't eat but don't want to waste. We have friends coming to visit from Idaho during part of my spring break who will love the Honey Bunches of Oats and cinnamon streusel Frosted Mini-Wheats I've stashed away.

I'll leave you with this series of photos from a tulip plant a friend of mine brought me when I had her over for brunch last weekend. I took these over the last four days as they bloomed just to mark the progress of something else besides my essay. Here's to a quick end to winter!

























2 comments:

French Fancy said...

I couldn't see any photos but then Blogger has been a bit crazy of late.

I want to shake some of your students - they just don't know how lucky they are having a face to face tutorial on a one-to-one basis.I wish I were one of them.

Happy Boxing.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Believe me, I wanted to shake that particularly cheeky student too. Sigh. It only takes a few like that to make you forget how much the others appreciate the help. I try to keep those others at the front of my thoughts.